Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 09:06
Broadcasting Cuts Must Be Turned Back
The savings of 100 million euro on public broadcasting in the coalition agreement must be turned back, according to ChristenUnie MP Gert-Jan Segers. He also said on Monday that most other opposition parties agreed on this. The Chamber will talk on Tuesday with State Secretary Sander Dekker (Media) about media policy. The position of the opposition is important, because the coalition has no majority in the Senate. Since the PVV is in favor of the cuts, they could support the government in these plans in the Senate. Segers also wants that a part of the programs of religious broadcasters which will disappear, like IKON, be taken over by other broadcasters. D66 MP Kees Verhoeven said on Sunday that State Secretary Sander Dekker (Media) must show the public broadcasters how the cuts will turn out before he implements a law that forces broadcasters to merge. “By the cuts we are now close to the heart of the public broadcasters. If the broadcasters do not know what choices they have to make, there is a chance that they might cut off a piece of the heart,” says Verhoeven. He wants to focus the debate on questions like "What do we want from the public broadcasters and what programs do we want them to make?" "It would be unwise to first let all the broadcasters go through a funnel and only after that determine how we are going to cut and how," says Verhoeven. Dekker wants to bring down the number of broadcasters from 21 to 8. A couple of them have already merged or are well on their way to a merger. Because of the planned merger of the AVRO and TROS early next year, 41 employees will lose their jobs. The broadcasters have to respond to the cuts in this way because otherwise they have to cut costs of the existing radio and television programs. “Then the viewers would be the victim, and we do not want that,” says a spokeswoman of the TROS. Other broadcasters will also dismiss people because of the cuts. According to magazine Villamedia, at BNN/VARA 29 jobs will disappear and for NCRV/KRO, 57 jobs. Because of the government cuts, the independent public broadcaster VPRO wants to get rid of 61 jobs.